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Author Topic: Just got my first key  (Read 10157 times)
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2012, 09:07:48 PM »

If you want callsign practice, try RufzXP, from the "Download" link  here:

http://www.rufzxp.net/

It's a truly nasty program that sends callsigns faster and faster, and backs off a little when you get one wrong.  So it keeps sending at (or just above) your maximum copy speed.

It's not really relevant for normal QSO's, but it's very handy if you want to get your contesting speed up.

You're probably better off sticking with LCWO for the time being.

         Charles
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2238




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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 01:22:35 PM »

Scott:

Thanks for sharing your tale, it brings back
a lot of memories of my first QSO's as a Novice.
(We could only use CW then).
I was very nervous, slow, and had a shaky first.
I remember having to repeat words three times!  Grin
But no one ever, ever gave me any static about
it, they were incredibly patient with me.
I don't believe things have changed much in
that regard. CW is a whole different world of ops.

I remember an op saying about my awful fist:
"U HAVE A GUD FIST"
to which I replied
"RE MY FIST, U LIE POORLY, HIHI"
73, Ken AD6KA
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 02:16:48 PM »

Thanks Ken, its going reasonably well now and with about a week to go to the 1st I'm confident I can do it. I'll certainly avoid a contest weekend though!  Grin The call sign practice thing is great - it describes itself as a simpler version of the RufzXP that Charles recommended. It slows down until you get them and then speeds up if you do. I was doing OK at 27wpm BUT that was with repeats...

Really need to knuckle down to practicing sending - at present the key is in a very awkward place - need to get an extension cable for it a metre will do. As its not comfortable to send at the moment its a disincentive to practice sending.

73

Scott
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2012, 11:44:33 PM »

Well its been an interesting weeked - no I have not made any contacts but I have flunked 3 of them!  Roll Eyes there were different stories for each one, but the common them is I need to practice copying actual QSOs off the air more before I have another go. CT7AEQ and SM7ZDI were particularly dissapointing as they had strong enough signals but the people above and below them put me right off my game as far as copying what they said. I only got 10-20% of it apart from thier call - and most dissapointing I never copied MY call> I have emailed them to apologise....


hopefully next weekend I'll be better at the real on the air stuff......

all the best

Scotty 
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2012, 08:40:54 AM »

Made my 4th CW contact this morning with GB3RN.   Grin First one was with HA2PP, then a UK station, then RA1TV. Need to work on my copy as I am missing some things. I have enough to do a contest type QSO, but thats never been my goal.
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2012, 10:30:25 AM »

Thanks Ken, its going reasonably well now and with about a week to go to the 1st I'm confident I can do it. I'll certainly avoid a contest weekend though!  Grin The call sign practice thing is great - it describes itself as a simpler version of the RufzXP that Charles recommended. It slows down until you get them and then speeds up if you do. I was doing OK at 27wpm BUT that was with repeats...

Really need to knuckle down to practicing sending - at present the key is in a very awkward place - need to get an extension cable for it a metre will do. As its not comfortable to send at the moment its a disincentive to practice sending.

73

Scott

"Repeats" make life much easier!<g>

There's a piece here about setting up a paddle for maximum comfort.   It might work for a straight key as well (using "American-style" arm-on-the-table keying):

http://www.hamradioinstructor.com/download/K7QO_Iambic_Paddle.pdf

The part about hand and arm position starts on page 3:

Quote
So with the light touch and the narrow spacing,
let’s get down to some real exercises. Sit down at
the desk you will be using and place your entire
arm from the elbow to the wrist on the table in
a comfortable position. Some of you may want
your arm parallel to the edge of the desk and
some at an small angle. I don’t think straight
into the desk is a good idea. You want to be
able to do this for hours on end later in your CW
career. Now point your pointing finger straight
along the same direction as the rest of the arm.
This is the direction I want your paddle to line
up with the paddles towards your hand. Extend
your thumb straight out and place the paddle
with the left paddle just touching it. The thumb
should be relaxed and you may want it bent just
a little. It’s up to you. The index finger should
just touch the opposite paddle on the right side
of the pair. I use the tip of the finger while the
finger is curved. I find my wrist is turned to the
left a little so that it is not vertical to the desk
surface and the wrist and arm are resting on the
table.

With the thumb and index finger touching both
paddles and no dits or dahs being sent and with
you in a comfortable position I want you to hold
this position for a few minutes. Don’t take your
fingers off the paddles and don’t push on them
either. Not a word and not a sound for a few
minutes. Think about what you are doing and
if there is something that doesn’t feel right then
adjust your posture, arm position, etc. until you
feel comfortable. I don’t need 5 minutes from
you, but you get the picture. If you can’t do this
for 5 minutes then how are you going to do it for
longer periods of time while talking to someone
on the air?

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2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2012, 04:03:54 AM »

8 contacts now Grin - I was ill for a whille with such a bad cold I could not concentrate. Things are going OK and I hope to get a lot more contacts in the next few weeks....
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
KJ4VPJ
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2012, 12:28:55 PM »

8 contacts now Grin - I was ill for a whille with such a bad cold I could not concentrate. Things are going OK and I hope to get a lot more contacts in the next few weeks....

That's awesome.

I started late last year with a momentary push button mounted in a project box. I then upgraded to a $17 practice key. I didn't think there would be that much difference between them, but there is.

I do some practicing when I have time, but not a lot of transmitting. I'd love to do more CW, but life keeps me from it. I have to say that for me right now, a CW contact is more fulfilling than SSB. Keep up the good work! I'll try and do the same.
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2012, 02:36:22 PM »

Completely understand that it can be more fulfilling, especially at the moment. Almost had my first CW rag chew last night but conx really hampered me as my friend on the other end M0VVC kept dropping out/being submerged in noise. I really need that 500hz filter but no idea when I will be able to afford it at the moment.  Sad
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
VK2FAK
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Posts: 87




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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2012, 10:39:30 PM »

Hi All..

Scot.....You mentioned you could copy to a point at 27wpm.....so just wondering at what speed you are starting your CW contacts list at...

Also you say you have to practice copy more on air QSO's  as you are struggling to copy a big percentage of your QSO's so far.............why is it you think your having problems.....I know I find going from perfect code on a computer to the real world is a struggle......timing in the real world at times leaves a lot to be desired......you and myself with eventually get past that, as everyone does........but is that one of your problems at the moment.?

John
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2E0OZI
Member

Posts: 270




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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2012, 04:14:06 AM »

Hi John,

I wasn't really copying 27wpm code but I was copying calls at 27wpm on a LCWO - well that was my BEST result anyway. Of course the program will repeat for you so that helps (but then again most hams do a 3x3 call so that helps too!) but i have only come out of the worst cold I have had in years - it lasted about 8 weeks - and that really affected my enthusiasm for code practice on the computer. Especially after I had my first couple of QSOs, actually making contact seems a lot more exciting, because it IS a lot more exciting.

And as you say in the real world on the air its much tougher than on the computer.

The plan at the moment is this;

1. Go back to trying to get in some code copy practice from the W1AW site, of stuff thats NOT just calls, but at the same time,

2. Keep going on the air both with my code practice freind M0VVC and with any contacts I can make.


3. Do more practice on LCWO copying calls.

4. Get the money to get that 500hz filter and get my WW2 headphones hooked up too.

Every contact I am making at the moment is a huge thrill, and I am still amazed that my very first proper contact that I made 100% was with a ham in Hungary.
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
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